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Your Estate Planning Checklist

When it comes to estate planning, there are a lot of different documents you will want to include. Many people do not realize, but your estate plan should be comprehensive. There are many documents that should all work together to form a complete plan that covers all aspects of your life. Read on to learn more about some of these documents.

What are Some of the Documents You Might Include?

A will

A will is an essential aspect of an estate plan. It is one of the most important documents you can create. A will allows you to divide your assets amongst your loved ones. This will ensure that your wishes are followed and your loved ones are taken care of. There are a lot of misconceptions regarding wills. For example, some people believe that you only need a will if you are of a certain net worth or you have children. This is not the case. Anyone over the age of 18 with any property or assets can, and should, create a will. If you were to pass away without a will, your assets would be allocated by a judge. It is important to know that a will is only one part of a complete estate plan.

Trusts

A trust is a fiduciary contract between a trustee and an estate in which the trustee is authorized to hold assets on behalf of a beneficiary. Generally, a trust is either revocable or irrevocable. There are trusts for many different situations. Some common types of trusts include:

  • Inter vivos trusts
  • Asset protection trusts
  • Supplemental needs trusts
  • Charitable remainder trusts
  • Special Needs Trusts
  • Charitable leads trusts
  • Generation-skipping trusts
  • Life insurance trusts
  • Testamentary trusts
  • Qualified personal residence trusts

An advance healthcare directive 

An advance healthcare directive allows you to make plans for your end-of-life care. This is important because everyone has different views, religious beliefs, and wishes when it comes to their healthcare treatments. So, through an advance healthcare directive, you can make sure that your wishes are followed. Additionally, in the event that you are unable to communicate these wishes, you can put a loved one in charge of making these decisions on your behalf.

A power of attorney 

A power of attorney allows you to put someone in charge of your finances and other important aspects of your life in the event that you become incapacitated or are no longer of sound mind.

If you would like to begin the estate planning process, contact our firm today.

Contact our Firm

The Lauterbach Law Firm is proud to serve clients throughout Rockland County who are faced with legal matters related to estate planning, real estate, foreclosure defense, landlord-tenant law, business law, and criminal defense. If you require the services of an experienced team of attorneys, contact The Lauterbach Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.

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